Let The Rest Go [Seer Crawl day 47}

A few paragraphs at a time. It’s is how I have been reading books lately.  Maybe a page or two. To really read and not just consume. Recently, I decided to re-read my book in the same manner. So, your thought to ponder today from The Seer.  Day 47. [all material from the book appears in italics]:



Virgil wrote:

Virgil: The sixth recognition is a gateway. Just as the third recognition completed a cycle called “pattern,” the sixth completes a second loop called “story.” Do you see we are making a Venn diagram with three circles?

Me: Yes. What is the third cycle called?

Virgil: Not so fast. We will get there soon enough. First you must complete the story cycle. Given what you know about the recognitions that comprise this cycle: #4: you locate yourself within your story and #5: you are the teller of you story, can you guess what comes next, what is the logical next step?

Me: What I realized almost immediately was that, as the teller of my story, I have the capacity to change my story. I can choose the story I want to tell.

Virgil: Yes, that’s it. The sixth recognition is “you can change your story.” It is an easy concept to grasp but, like all simplicities, it can be hard to do. The work that you have done so far learning about patterns, investments, attachments, roles, and locating, is a first step. It is something you must continue if you desire to master the capacity to change your story. I’ve also given you three practices:

  • Practice “Not Knowing” (practice curiosity),
  • Practice having an experience first, then make meaning of the experience second,
  • Practice suspending your judgment so you can learn.

Before we leave this cycle there is a fourth practice to add:

     4) Practice controlling what you can control and letting the rest go.

Me: I’m not sure I understand.

Virgil: Investments, attachments, and many limiting patterns are the result of trying to control things in your life over which you have no control. People spend great amounts of their lives trying to control what they cannot control. So, first you must identify what you can and cannot control. After you’ve identified what you can control, begin the practice of focusing your actions and choices toward what you can change. And, stop trying to change what you cannot.


And, isn’t it often the case that personal and organizational change follow the same necessary steps. Knowing what you can and cannot control is a very useful awareness.

[extra credit for guessing what the painting Angels At The Well has to do with this post]





halloween box copy

Locate Yourself [Seer Crawl day 31]

Your thought to ponder for today: a slow read through THE SEER. Day 31. [all material from the book appears in italics]:


He continued:

Virgil: Since we are discussing orienting to yourself within your life, I want to give you two more practices to add to your practice of “not knowing.” Most people are incapable of learning because they are too invested in judging themselves. (Note: judging others is the same thing as judging yourself. We’ll work with this more later but for now assume that judgment in any form impedes learning.) When you contacted me you were incapable of learning because you were so full of self-judgment. Just as patterns and problems are dance partners, so, too, are learning and judgment. The goal is to help you see opportunity wherever you look. To have the eyes to see opportunity you must first be capable of learning at every moment. To develop this capability, you need two additional practices:

  • Have experiences first and make meaning second. This is actually how your brain works. You have experiences, feel sensation, and then you make meaning of the experience. This process of meaning making is what I call story. Children have no problem with this practice. They live to try things and then they make sense of what they just experienced. Adults flip it over and therefore block themselves: they think they need to know before they act. Do you see why practicing “not knowing” is so vital? So, practice what every child knows: have the experience first (practice not knowing), ACT…and then make meaning from what you experience.
  • Judgment is nothing more than a signal that you’ve left your comfort zone. It is a siren that says, “You’ve come to an edge!” For adults, all learning happens at the edges – because we’ve learned that it is uncomfortable to “not know.” The first thing that we do when we are uncomfortable is to judge ourselves and/or others. In that moment you have a choice: you can invest in the judgment or you can suspend your judgment and learn. That is the second practice: practice suspending your judgments so you can learn. When you do this, you become more capable of seeing your choices. At that point of choice, it is less important what you do as long as you recognize that you are choosing an action; nothing is happening to you, you are choosing.

It marries with our last lesson about the story you tell. Do you see?

Me: Yes. If I know that I am choosing then I cannot tell myself the story that things are happening to me. And, when I know that things aren’t happening to me, I’m capable of learning.

Virgil: Exactly. Learning and seeing are conjoined twins. When you can learn, you can see; when you can see, you can learn. For the next week, in addition to working with your two new practices, I have an assignment for you.

Me: Uh-oh. Last time you gave me an assignment I thought you were trying to trick me. 😉

Virgil: I had to earn your trust before I could start the tricks. Now that you trust me you have to watch out… Just kidding. There are no tricks or traps from me. Stepping beyond the known world is full of challenges and traps – but they all come from within you. Rooting out your traps is a necessary part of discovering your patterns of thinking. Here’s your assignment: Now that you know that you are telling yourself a story, I want you to pay attention to the many ways in which you ‘locate’ yourself within the story that you tell. We are constantly locating ourselves in our stories: both physically and in the roles we play. Study how you locate yourself in your story and what that reveals to you.


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